Thursday, November 7, 2013

Worship and Encountering the Divine, Part Eight (Oh more questions than answers!)

Go to Part 9...

…Worship and Encountering the Divine…

Part Eight

 The Creed of Yeshua – The Second Adam

1 Corinthians 15:12-28
Now if Moshiach be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  (13)  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Moshiach not risen:  (14)  And if Moshiach be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  (15)  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of Elohim; because we have testified of Elohim that he raised up Moshiach: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.  (16)  For if the dead rise not, then is not Moshiach raised:  (17)  And if Moshiach be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.  (18)  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Moshiach are perished.  (19)  If in this life only we have hope in Moshiach, we are of all men most miserable. 
(20)  But now is Moshiach risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
(21)  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 
(22)  For as in Adam all die, even so in Moshiach shall all be made alive. 
(23)  But every man in his own order: Moshiach the firstfruits; afterward they that are of Moshiach at his coming. 
(24)  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to Elohim, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 
(25)  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  (26)  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  (27)  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 
(28)  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that Elohim may be all in all.[1]

Mark 12:28-37
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first mitzvah of all? 
(29)  And Y'shuw`a answered him,
The first of all The Commandments is, Hear, O Yisrael; YY [YHVH] our Elohim is ONE YY : 
(30)  And thou shalt love YY thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first mitzvah. 
(31)  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other mitzvah greater than these. 
(32)  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Rabbi, thou hast said the truth: for there is one Elohim; and there is none other but he:  (33)  And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 
(34)  And when Y'shuw`a saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the Kingdom of Elohim. And no man after that durst ask him any question. 
(35)  And Y'shuw`a answered and said, while he taught in the Temple, How say the scribes HaMoshiach is the Son of David?  (36)  For David himself said by Ruach HaKadesh, YY said to my Lord, Sit thou on my Right Hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.  (37)  David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.[2]

Today's installment will not bring us closer to a solution of the Creed that Yeshua followed for a reason. I write today with heaviness in my heart. Sadly I am reminded ever of the gap between our Jewish brethren those of us who believe in Messiah. I’m not just talking about Christians, but those of us who call ourselves Messianic believers and hold to the Torah, the commandments of God. For the gap that exists I must rightly say was imposed by the centuries of anti-Semitism that emanated from the church, yet by the same token, it has only gotten wider by the anti-anything-to-do-with-Jesus  factions of Judaism. This “anti-Jesus” mentality has also robbed the Jewish people of the scholarship of their ancient sages, profound thinkers that sought out the nature of God and who explored what it meant to be a Jew. As a Messianic believer, I find myself further and further away from the religion of Christianity as it is practiced today. Too much of the church has forsaken the sacred and embraced the profane in its attempt to be “relevant” in today’s world; that is a shame for if the church would only embrace the Truth of God’s word, then there would be no reason to try to be “relevant” – it just would be.

And what is the truth? Well, for one, I am truly more and more convinced that belief in Yeshua Ha’Machiach is salvation and Judaism is the only true religion, the faith once delivered for all. A small disclaimer to this statement is needed though: Judaism in its current form maybe not be perfect, but it will be when as a community it [Judaism] returns to pure worship in the form the Father wanted it to be and when it recognizes its Messiah. Alas, there is where my sadness comes in. In an earlier part of this study (which has taken on greater dimensions than I had ever planned) I said I was teachable and correctable: well here is where I correct myself. I had made a statement to the fact that Judaism was and has always been a monotheistic religion; that is just slightly misstating the case as I have found in my continuous studies.

In this study I probably have offended some, and for this I apologize. One way I may have offended is in the way I simply right the title “God”. I do not want to appear insensitive to my Jewish brethren who revere the name of our God; there are those who may say because I don’t write “God” as “G-d” or HaShem that I’m disrespectful at least, or taking the Father’s name ( or title?) in vain. 

I truly do not wish to offend; as a believer in Messiah and the Torah, I try to be mindful of the sensitivity and the respect for the Father, blessed be His Holy name, that Judaism holds to.

While this is a bit of a rabbit trail, I’d like to just say a few words about this though. The substitution of G-d and L-rd, etc., for Yahvey is a rabbinic tradition that nullifies God’s Word, even though the reasons are understandable and admirable. (And of course, by writing out the name of God, I realize I’ve offended again!)

Matthew 15:1-9:  Then some P’rushim[3] and Torah-teachers from Yerushalayim[4] came to Yeshua and asked him, “Why is it that your talmidim[5] break the Tradition of the Elders? They don’t do n’tilat-yadayim[6] before they eat!” He answered, “Indeed, why do you break the command of God by your tradition?
 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’i and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’j But you say, ‘If anyone says to his father or mother, “I have promised to give to God what I might have used to help you,” then he is rid of his duty to honor his father or mother.’ Thus by your tradition you make null and void the word of God! You hypocrites! Yesha‘yahu[7] was right when he prophesied about you,
              ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far away from me.
              Their worship of me is useless,
because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’ ”k[8]

Avram Yehosua, a Messianic elder of the Seed of Abraham writes:
“…The name of Yahveh occurs 6,823 times in the Tanach (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament).[9] It’s forbidden by the Rabbis to say the name of Yahveh because they don’t want anyone to profane it, thereby sinning against God by ‘taking His name in vain’ (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). This interpretation and restriction, which is held to most adamantly, goes against God and His Word. It is purely a rabbinic concept…”[10]

With all due respect to the Rabbinical system of Judaism, I try very hard to follow halacha and to walk as I should within the concepts and confines of what I believe Judaism is and how it applies to me, a goy; but I must say I agree with Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmud at the University of California in Berkley, had to say about this matter:

“… it may be helpful to challenge some of our closely held assumptions about what religions are.
For moderns, religions are fixed sets of convictions with well-defined boundaries. We usually ask ourselves: What convictions does Christianity forbid or what practices does it require? We ask similar questions in regard to Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, the so-called great religions of the world. Such an understanding, of course, makes nonsense of the idea that one could be both a Jew and a Christian, rendering it just a contradiction in terms. Jews don’t fit the definition of Christians, and Christians don’t fit the definition of Jews. There are simple incompatibilities between these two religions that make it impossible to be both. I will argue in this book that this conception just doesn’t always fit the facts, and specifically that it doesn’t represent well the situation of Judaism and Christianity in the early centuries at all.
We usually define members of religions by using a kind of checklist. For instance, one could say that if someone believes in the Trinity and incarnation, she is a member of the religion Christianity, but if she doesn’t, she isn’t a proper member of that religion. One could say, conversely, that if someone does not believe in the Trinity and incarnation, then he is a member of the religion Judaism, but if he does believe in those things, he isn’t. One could also say that if someone keeps the Sabbath on Saturday, eats only kosher food, and circumcises her sons, she is a member of the Jewish religion, but if she doesn’t, she is not a member of the Jewish religion. Or, conversely again, if some group believes that everyone should keep the Sabbath, eat only kosher food, and circumcise sons, they are not Christians, but if they believe that these practices have been superseded, then they are Christians. This is, as I have said, our usual way of looking at such matters.
However, this manner of categorizing people’s religions runs into difficulties. First, someone has to be making the checklists. Who decides what specific beliefs disqualify a person from being a Jew? Throughout history these decisions have been made by certain groups of people or individuals and are then imposed on other people (who may, however, refuse—unless the deciders have an army). It’s a little bit like those “race” checklists on the census forms. Some of us simply refuse to check a box that defines us as Caucasian or Hispanic or African American because we don’t identify that way, and only laws, and courts, or an army could force us to if they chose to. Of course, it will be asserted that the decisions about Jews and Christians (not Americans) were made by God and revealed in this Scripture or that, by this prophet or that, but this is a matter of faith, not of scholarship. Neither faith nor theology should play a role in the attempt to describe what was, as opposed to what ought to have been (according to this religious authority or another)…” [11]

In defining who is a Jew, what the Jewish religion is, who isn’t a Jew, what isn’t the Jewish religion, the process it seems is the same as Christianity – a process of exclusion, of rules and check-points that say you can be this, but not this. I want to make it perfectly clear. I am not trying to be a Jew because I follow Torah. I’m trying to do what God expects of me – even if it is calling upon His Holy and Blessed Name. I Read His word and Follow His commands as they apply to me and as Judaism dictates, as long as it does not violate my belief in Messiah. The temple is no more: I cannot sacrifice (couldn’t even if there was a Temple, for I am not in the Land…); I cannot do the things assigned to the priesthood, I’m not of the Aaronic line. Many of God’s commands I cannot do, but there are many I can. I believe Moshe when he wrote:

Exodus 12:43-49 (Tanakh)
43 “...The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the law of the passover offering: No foreigner shall eat of it. 44But any slave a man has bought may eat of it once he has been circumcised. 45No bound or hired laborer shall eat of it. 46It shall be eaten in one house: you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house; nor shall you break a bone of it. 47The whole community of Israel shall offer it. 48If a stranger who dwells with you would offer the passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised; then he shall be admitted to offer it; he shall then be as a citizen of the country. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.
49There shall be one law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you…[12]

And again:
Numbers 15:14-16 (Tanakh)
14 “…And when, throughout the ages, a stranger who has taken up residence with you, or one who lives among you, would present an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord—as you do, so b-shall it be done by 15the rest of the congregation.-b
There shall be one law for you and for the resident stranger; it shall be a law for all time throughout the ages. You and the stranger shall be alike before the Lord; 16the same ritual and the same rule shall apply to you and to the stranger who resides among you…[13]

One Law, One Torah. We were always meant to be one people, Jew and Gentile, a people led by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. One people with one Messiah. Yet something horribly went wrong. Early church leaders sought to pull a "new religion" they contrived out and away from its Jewish roots and the Jewish rabbis were all too happy to see them go – but every action has an equal and opposite reaction, complete with unintended consequences. The modern Jews blame the “New Testament and its Jesus” for all the terrors and horrors the Jewish people have endured over the past 2000 years, yet as always, the blame isn’t on the Book or the Messiah – it falls squarely on the shoulders of those who misused and misconstrued the words and the message of Yeshua. It was inevitable that there was to be a parting of the ways, simply because the "new religion" of Christianity choose to distance itself from the faith given once for all: instead of embracing what God had set into motion, both sides then choose a path that has led to what we have today, two religions whose roots were the same, but are now at odds with one another, one more to blame than the other. Out of these two competing systems emerged another: a group of God-fearers who embrace the totality of the word of God  and His Messiah yet are shunned by all.

Boyarin continues his examination using Jerome (A.D. 347–420) who is described in Christian literature as “…one of the most important Christian scholars, thinkers, and writers of the late fourth and early fifth centuries…”. [14] After explaining how Jerome was instrumental in defining the “new orthodoxy” of the Christian church, he quotes from Jerome’s own correspondence in writings to Augustine of Hippo.  Jerome wrote:

       “…In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again, is the same as the one in whom we believe. But while they desire to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other.” [15]

Boyarin states: “…A close look at Jerome’s text will explain several of the points that I have been making. Jerome described a group of people who believed in the orthodox Nicene Creed: Christ is the son of God, he was born of a virgin, he was crucified and suffered, he rose. But they thought they were Jews too—they prayed in synagogues, kept the Sabbath, and adhered to dietary and other rules. In fact, they didn’t see “Christians” and “Jews” as two categories at all but as one complex category. Presumably they were practicing some sort of Jewish ritual as well, although it is unclear from Jerome’s statement precisely what it was. Jerome denied them their claim of being Christian, because they claimed to be Jews; he denied them their claim to be Jews, because they claimed to be Christians. And he certainly denied them the possibility of being both, because that was an impossibility in Jerome’s worldview. For him (and for us as well), these were mutually exclusive possibilities. However, for these Jews who confessed the Nicene Creed, there was no contradiction. Just as today there are Jews who are Hassidic—some of whom believe that the Messiah has come, died, and will be resurrected—and Jews who reject the Hassidic movement entirely but all are considered Jews, so in antiquity there were Jews who were believers in Christ and Jews who weren’t, but all were Jews. To use another comparison that is evocative if not entirely exact, it is as if non-Christian Jews and Christian Jews were more like Catholics and Protestants today than like Jews and Christians today—parts of one religious grouping, not always living in harmony or recognizing each other’s legitimacy but still in a very important sense apprehensible as one entity.
In order to protect the orthodox notion that there is an absolute distinction between Jews and Christians, Jerome had to “invent” a third category, neither Christians nor Jews. Jerome, backed up by the fiats of Emperor Constantine’s Council of Nicaea and the law of the Roman Empire, the code of the Emperor Theodosius, rather imperiously declared that some folks were simply not Christians; even more surprisingly, he claimed he could decide that they were not Jews either, because they didn’t fit his definition of Jews. No one before Constantine had had the power to declare some folks not Christians or not Jews.
Jerome tells us something about the synagogue leadership here as well: they also condemned these people as not Jews, thus applying a similar type of checklist to read people out of a group. But there’s more yet. Jerome gives fascinating names to this sect of not-Jews, not-Christians. He calls them, as we’ve seen, minei and Nazarenes. These names, mysterious as they seem at first, are really not mysteries at all. They refer to two terms used in the rabbinic prayer against the sectarians, which is, in fact, first firmly attested in Jerome’s fifth century (although earlier forms of it are known from the third century). In this prayer, repeated in the synagogues, Jews used to say: “And to the minim and to the Notzrim, let there be no hope.” The term minim means, literally, “kinds.” Jews who don’t belong to the group that the Rabbis wish to define as kosher are named by them as “kinds” of Jews, not entirely mainstream. This included Jews who are not quite halakhically/theologically correct, such as followers of Jesus, but still Jews. The second term, Notzrim (Latinized as Nazarenes), is much more specific, referring as it does to Nazareth and thus explicitly to Christians. This is plausibly the very prayer to which Jerome is referring in his letter, since his alleged condemnation by the Pharisees comprises precisely these two names for the group. The word minim seems just to mean sectarians in a general sense, including such as these who follow the Jewish law but confess the Nicene Creed. The word Notzrim (Nazarenes) would be a specific reference to that Christian character of these Jews. But according to Jerome’s report, even this is not a Jewish condemnation of Christians in general but rather applies to those poor folks who couldn’t tell the difference properly and thought that they were both.[16] The total de-legitimation that Jerome seeks to accomplish of the both-Jews-and-Christians in his letter to Augustine by declaring them “nothing,” the Rabbis (whom he calls anachronistically “Pharisees”) seek to accomplish through the medium of a curse against those same Jews and-Christians when they come to the synagogue. While both would undoubtedly have denied it angrily, Jerome and the Rabbis are engaged in a kind of conspiracy to de-legitimate these folks who defined themselves as both Jewish and Christians, in order that the checklists remain absolutely clear and unambiguous.
As we can see, these seemingly innocuous checklists are really tools of power, not simply description. If, thunders Jerome, you believe in the Nicene Creed, get out of the synagogue, and you will be a Christian. If you stay in the synagogue and drop your belief in Christian doctrine, then the Pharisees will agree to call you a Jew. Fill in the boxes correctly on the checklist, or you are neither a Christian nor a Jew. The very fact that Jerome and the Rabbis needed to fight against these minim, these Nazarenes who thought they were both Jews and Christians, suggests that they did, in fact, exist and in sufficient numbers to arouse concern…”[17]

What did God speak in the Tanach?

Deuteronomy 32:15-21 (Tanakh)
15So Jeshurun grew fat and kicked—you grew fat and gross and coarsee—he forsook the God who made him and spurned the Rock of his support.
16They incensed Him with alien things, vexed Him with abominations.
17They sacrificed to demons, no-gods, gods they had never known, new ones, who came but lately,
f-Who stirred not your fathers’ fears.-f
18You neglected the Rock that begot you, forgot the God who brought you forth.
19The Lord saw and was vexed and spurned His sons and His daughters.
20He said: I will hide My countenance from them, and see how they fare in the end. For they are a treacherous breed, children with no loyalty in them.
21They incensed Me with no-gods, Vexed Me with their futilities, 
 gI’ll incense them with a no-folk, Vex them with a nation of fools. [18]

Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) says this:
Romans 9:1-33
“…I say the truth in Moshiach, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in Ruach HaKodesh,
That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Moshiach for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Torah, and the service of Elohim, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Moshiach came, who is over all, Elohim blessed forever! Amen. Not as though the word of Elohim hath taken none effect. For they are not all Yisrael, which are of Yisrael: Neither, because they are the seed of Avraham, are they all children: but, In Yitzchak shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Elohim: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rivkah also had conceived by one, even by our father Yitzchak; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of Elohim according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Yaakov have I loved, but Esav have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with Elohim? Elohim forbid! For he saith to Moshe, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of Elohim that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against Elohim? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if Elohim, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Hoshea,
I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them,
Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living Elohim.
Yeshayahu also crieth concerning Yisrael, Though the number of the children of Yisrael be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will YY make upon the earth. And as Yeshayahu said before, Except YY -TZvaot had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Yisrael, which followed after the Torah of righteousness, hath not attained to the Torah of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Torah. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
As it is written, Behold, I lay in TZiyon a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed…”[19]

We, the Messianic community, are considered by all to be a “no-people”, a foolish bunch that is wanted by none, despised by most and gratefully though, loved by God. But it is with a heavy heart that we occupy this place, this place between two people that we do love, and so hope and pray for reconciliation.

                This is why I have searched the Scriptures to find the Truth, to see who my Messiah really is, for in knowing Him, there can be a place we all can come and find rest. Indeed, we are all one family unto God, albeit some of us are looked upon as the black sheep… My Jewish brethren, I profoundly humble myself before you and ask your forgiveness for the cruelties that were perpetrated upon you in the name of Jesus – but it was not Jesus who committed these acts against you, but failed men who sought power and control over the masses in the name of religion. Likewise, I would ask you to ask forgiveness from your brethren who, as Jews, have come to believe in the Messiah Yeshua; they saw the hand of God long before any of us have. We want, as the no-people, to walk beside God in the cool of the day like Adam once did – and that is the thrust of today’s lesson, how God has made all things new by His Messiah, Yeshua. Unfortunately, we won't get there today - many other matters cry out for our attention.

                It has taken us a while to get to this point,  and people read blogs for their brevity; sorry ‘bout that, I can’t be brief. There is so much to cover, so much to try to explain, that maybe no one reads these at all. That doesn’t mean I should not try. Truth matters; see 1 Cor. 2:6-10; Col. 1:7-14;  2 Tim. 2:11-19;  1 Tim. 6:1-5;  Matthew 22:29; Luke 11:28;  1 Cor. 15:1,2;  2 Tim. 4:1-5 and  Eph. 6:14 to learn how important sound Truth and correct belief really is. And part of the truth I’ve discovered is that there is a rich history of ancient Jewish thought that held to the idea of a divine/human redeemer, as seen in Daniel, chapters 7 and 10-12.

Daniel 7:9-14 (NASB95)
     9) “I kept looking Until athrones were set up,  And the Ancient of Days took His seat;  His bvesture  was like white snow And the chair of His head like pure wool. His dthrone was 1ablaze with flames, Its ewheels were a burning fire. (10) “A river of afire was flowing And coming out from before Him; bThousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The ccourt sat,
And dthe books were opened. (11) “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the 1boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the aburning 2fire. (12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. (13)“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a aSon of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. (14) “And to Him was given adominion, Glory and 1ba kingdom, cThat all the peoples, nations and men of every 2language Might serve Him. dHis dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; eAnd His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.” [20]

In Daniel’s narrative we clearly can see that there seems to be two divine figures, One who is called the Ancient of Days and the other was “…like a Son of Man…”. At the beginning of the narrative there are thrones set up, (plural כָּרְסֵא korsēʾ), indicating that places were set up more than one ruler. Here, the one unto the Son of Man is brought before the Ancient One, and has power and dominion bestowed upon him by the Elder; this was understood by the ancient Jewish sages as one of two possible interpretations: 1) that the “Son of Man” was a symbol of a collective, possibly of the faithful of Israel, or 2) that the “Son of Man” is actually what is alluded to here in Daniel: a second divine figure, a theophany co-substantial with Yahvey Himself. But does the continuing narration of Daniel support this conclusion?

Daniel 7:15-28 (HCSB)
Interpretation of the Vision
15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was deeply distressed within me, f and the visions in my mind terrified me. g 16 I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him h the true meaning of all this. So he let me know the interpretation of these things: i 17 ‘These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.’ j
19 “Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, k the one different from all the others, extremely terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, devouring, crushing, and trampling with its feet whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the 10 horns l on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three fell—the horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly, m and that was more visible than the others. 21 As I was watching, this horn waged war n against the holy ones and was prevailing over them 22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and a judgment o was given in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom.
23 “This is what he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it. 24 The 10 horns p are 10 kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High q and oppress r the holy ones s of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals t and laws, u and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time. v w 26 But the court will convene, x and his dominion will be taken away, to be completely destroyed forever. y 27 The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, z and all rulers will serve and obey Him.’
28 “This is the end of the interpretation. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, a and my face turned pale, b but I kept the matter to myself.” c [21]

It would seem both sides have a point. Boyarin explains:

“…Daniel’s vision itself seems to require that we understand “the one like a son of man” as a second divine figure. The angelic decoding of the vision in the end of the chapter seems equally as clearly to interpret “the one like a son of man” as a collective earthly figure, Israel or the righteous of Israel. No wonder the commentators argue. The text itself seems to be a house divided against itself. The answer to this conundrum is that the author of the Book of Daniel, who had Daniel’s vision itself before him, wanted to suppress the ancient testimony of a more than-singular God, using allegory to do so. In this sense, the theological controversy that we think exists between Jews and Christians was already an intra-Jewish controversy long before Jesus.
Ancient Jewish readers might well have reasoned, as the Church Father Aphrahat did, that since the theme of riding on the clouds indicates a divine being in every other instance in the Tanakh (the Jewish name for the Hebrew Bible), we should read this one too as the revelation of God, a second God, as it were. The implication is, of course, that there are two such divine figures in heaven, the old Ancient of Days and the young one like a son of man.[22] Such Jews would have had to explain, then, what it means for this divine figure to be given into the power of the fourth beast for “a time, two times, and a half a time.” A descent into hell—or at any rate to the realm of death—for three days would be one fine answer to that question.
The Messiah-Christ existed as a Jewish idea long before the baby Jesus was born in Nazareth. That is, the idea of a second God as viceroy to God the Father is one of the oldest of theological ideas in Israel. Daniel 7 brings into the present a fragment of what is perhaps the most ancient of religious visions of Israel that we can find. Just as seeing an ancient Roman wall built into a modern Roman building enables us to experience ancient Rome alive and functioning in the present, this fragment of ancient lore enabled Jews of the centuries just before Jesus and onward to vivify in the present of their lives this bit of ancient myth.
The rest, as they say, is Gospel. But the point is that these ideas were not new ones at all by the time Jesus appeared on the scene…”[23]

He continues: 

“…Taking the two-throne vision out of the context of Daniel 7 as a whole, we find several crucial elements: (1) there are two thrones; (2) there are two divine figures, one apparently old and one apparently young; (3) the young figure is to be the Redeemer and eternal ruler of the world.[24] It would certainly not be wrong to suggest, I think, that even if the actual notion of the Messiah/Christ is not yet present here, the notion of a divinely appointed divine king over earth is, and that this has great potential for understanding the development of the Messiah/Christ notion in later Judaism (including Christianity, of course). The second-God Redeemer figure thus comes, on my view, out of the earlier history of Israel’s religion. Once the messiah had been combined with the younger divine figure that we have found in Daniel 7, then it became natural to ascribe to him also the term “Son of God.” The occupant of one throne was an ancient, the occupant of the other a young figure in human form. The older one invests the younger one with His own authority on earth forever and ever, passing the scepter to him. What could be more natural, then, than to adopt the older usage “Son of God,” already ascribed to the Messiah in his role as the Davidic king of Israel, and understanding it more literally as the sign of the equal divinity of the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man? Thus the Son of Man became the Son of God, and “Son of God” became the name for Jesus’ divine nature—and all without any break with ancient Jewish tradition.
The theology of the Gospels, far from being a radical innovation within Israelite religious tradition, is a highly conservative return to the very most ancient moments within that tradition, moments that had been largely suppressed in the meantime—but not entirely…”[25]

Looking at Rabbinical writings, we can also see this similiar interpretation of Daniel 7:

(From the Babylonian Talmud)

 “…[ibid., ibid. 5]: "And the Lord came down" (singular). [Ibid. xxxv. 7]: "And there God appeared" (the term in Hebrew is plural); however [ibid., ibid. 3]: "Unto the Lord who answered me" (singular). [Deut. iv. 7]: "For what great nation is there that hath gods so nigh unto it?" However, it reads farther on, "as is the Lord our God every time we call upon him." [II Lam. vii. 23]: "Which God went?" (the term in Hebrew is plural).
 However [Dan. vii. 9]: "I was looking down until chairs were set down, and the Ancient of days seated himself" (singular). But why are all the above-mentioned written in plural? This is in accordance with R. Johanan, who said elsewhere that the Holy One, blessed be He, does not do anything until he consults the heavenly household, as it reads [ibid. iv. 14]: "Through the resolve of the angels is this decree, and by the order of the holy ones is this decision." However, this answer is for all the plurals mentioned, except the last one, "the chairs." Why are they in plural?
One for Him and one for David. So R. Aqiba in a Boraitha. Said R. Elazar b. Azaryah to him: Aqiba, how do you dare to make the Shekhina common? It means one chair for judgment and one for mercy. Did Aqiba accept this, or not? Come and hear the following Boraitha: One for judgment and one for mercy. So R. Aqiba. Said R. Elazar b. Azaryah to him: Aqiba, what hast thou to do with Haggada? Give thy attention to Negain and Ohaloth. It means one for a chair to sit upon and one for a footstool…”[26]

Whatever the precise reading of Daniel 7 is from the Talmudic passage, it can be seen that from the Rabbis portrayed they understood that this passage presented a theophany.[27] It is also worth noting, that this particular section of the (Rodkinson) Talmud was in a collection of sayings that were explaining how to “correctly answer” questions posed by “Minim”[28]. So the controversy continues.

This controversy though, is all throughout Jewish literature; some examples below:

"All the prophets prophesied only of the days of the Messiah." [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 99a]

"A king shall come forth from the sons of Jesse, and the Messiah shall grow up from his sons’ sons." [Targum to Yesha'yahu 11:1 in the Tanakh]

"Thus says the L~rd of Hosts, saying, ‘Behold the Man whose name is the Messiah who shall be revealed.’" [Targum to Z'kharyah 6:12 in the Tanakh]

"It was taught in the School of Elijah, the world will endure 6,000 years - 2,000 years in chaos, 2,000 with Torah, and 2,000 years will be the days of the Messiah." [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 97a]
"Rabbi Hillel said, ‘there shall be no Messiah for Israel, because they have already enjoyed him in the days of Hezekiah.’ Rabbi Joseph said, ‘may G~d forgive him (Hillel) for saying so. Now, when did Hezekiah flourish? During the First Temple. Yet Zechariah, prophesying in the days of the second, proclaimed, ‘rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee! He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)’"  [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 99a]
"Dip your morsel of bread in the vinegar (Ruth 2:14). This refers to the Messiah’s sufferings, for it is said in Isaiah 53:5: ‘He was pierced through for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.’" [Midrash Ruth Rabbah, 2.14]

"Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘The Messiah - what is his name?’… And our Rabbis said, ‘the pale one… is his name,’ as it is written ‘Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows - yet we considered him stricken by G~d, smitten by him and afflicted.’" [Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98, p. 2]

"The Messiah our righteousness has turned from us. We are alarmed, we have no one to justify us. Our sins and the yoke of our transgressions he bore. He was bruised for our iniquities. He carried on his shoulders our sins. With his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53). Almighty G~d, hasten the day that he might come to us anew; that we may hear from Mt. Lebanon (figurative reference to the Temple), a second time through the Messiah." [Ancient hymn-prayer by Eliezer Hakkalir sung during the Musaf Service on Yom Kippur; included in some Siddurs]

"Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, to put an end to transgression, to make an end of sin, to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the visions and prophets, and to anoint the Most Holy Place… After sixty-two weeks, the Messiah (Mashiach) will be cut off and have nothing. The people of a coming prince will destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (Temple)." [Tanakh, Dani'el 9:24-26]
    "Who has believed what we have heard? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed? For before Him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or beauty. We saw him, but his appearance did not attract us. He was despised and shunned by men, a man of pains and familiar with illness; like one from whom we would hide our faces. He was despised and we had no regard for him. In truth, it was our infirmities he bore, and our pains that he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished and afflicted by G~d. He was wounded because of our sins and crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement he bore made us whole, and through his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way. Yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of us… After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction. By his knowledge my righteous servant makes many righteous; it is for their sins that he suffers. Therefore I will give him a share with the mighty; for he exposed himself to death and was numbered among the sinners. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." [Tanakh, Yesha'yahu 53]    "I may remark then, that our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah, and we ourselves shall adhere to the same view." [Rabbi Mosheh El-Sheikh regarding Yesha'yahu 53 in the Tanakh]
"Now there was about this time, Yeshua (Eaysoos in Greek), a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was Mashiach (Christos in Greek); and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of "Christians" (followers of Messiah), so named from him, are not extinct at this day." [Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3; Yosef ben Mattityahu a.k.a Josephus]
So who do you say He is? I have poured over contemporary Jewish and Christian literature, trying to find out about this seemingly glaring disconnect between the Creed of Yeshua “Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. , Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One…” and the Christian Trinitarian formula that seems to be at such odds with the monotheistic beliefs of Judaism and what have I found? More questions than answers. I stand corrected in my original belief that Judaism had always believed in the concept of One God because the facts just say something different: the ancient sages debated a compound unity, or a sharing of the powers of the Godhead as seen in their debates of Daniel 7. If they could come to no consensus, where does this leave me in my beliefs?

To be honest, I still lean toward One God, One Sovereign King of Glory, and His Messiah Yeshua, His only begotten Son. I at this time still tend to view Messiah born as a man, brought into existence at just the right time, He who lived a sinless life, and offered Himself up as God’s perfect sacrifice to redeem all men back to the Father. He was raised from the dead and exalted and glorified to be God’s Son and Regent, to rule and reign at the Father’s right hand till all is accomplished.

That said, there is still more to examine. I believe with all my heart Yeshua is divine, just not convinced as Christian theology holds that He is YHVH also (Son of God, Son of Man yes; God the Son? The jury is still out, so to speak). But upon examination of Jewish literature, there are questions I have to resolve. As I said at the beginning of our study, I will not put Yahvey in a box; I’ll let Him reveal Himself to me as He chooses, so that I can know Him – and in turn, know once and for all who Yeshua is. So the search for the Messiah continues – and I believe it is a search that is vital to all believers today for we truly want to worship as Yeshua had said:

(John 4:7-26, The Scriptures 1998)

“…A woman of Shomeron [Samaria] came to draw water.
 יהושע [Yeshua/Jesus in Hebrew] said to her,
Give Me to drink.”
For His taught ones had gone off into the city to buy food. The woman of Shomeron therefore said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Yehuḏite [Jew], ask a drink from me, a woman of Shomeron?” For Yehuḏim do not associate with Shomeronites.
 יהושע answered and said to her,
If you knew the gift of Elohim, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
 [1 Footnote: 1Jer. 2:13, Jer. 17:13, Zech. 14:8, John 7:37-39].
The woman said to Him, “Master, You have no vessel, and the well is deep. From where, then, do You have living water? Are You greater than our father Yaʽaqob [Jacob]̱, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?”
 יהושע answered and said to her,
 Everyone drinking of this water shall thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
 The woman said to Him, “Master, give me this water, so that I do not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
 יהושע said to her,
Go, call your husband, and come here.”
 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
 יהושע said to her,
You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
The woman said to Him, “Master, I see that You are a prophet. “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you people say that in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] is the place where one needs to worship.”
 יהושע said to her,
 Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Yerushalayim, worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because the deliverance is of the Yehuḏim.”
 [1 Footnote: 1Ps. 147:19, Isa. 2:3, Isa. 14:1, Isa. 56:6-8, Ezek. 47:22-23, Zech. 2:10-11, Zech. 8:23, Rom. 2:20, Rom. 3:2, Rom. 9:4, Rev. 21:12 & 24.]
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming, the One who is called Anointed. When that One comes, He shall announce to us all.”
יהושע said to her,
I who am speaking to you am He.” [29]

Yeshua said we worship what we do not know; what we need to do is worship what we know and that can only be found if we look for Him in all things, and that my friends means we look for Him through Judaism, not around it. Our next installment will continue our search for the Messiah, and how to encounter the divine.

Till then, may God richly bless you, my beloved. [30]

[1] Israeli Authorized Version of the Holy Bible, electronic edition, e-Sword® version 10.2.1, Copyright ©2000-2013 by Rick Myers
[2] Israeli Authorized Version of the Holy Bible, electronic edition, e-Sword® version 10.2.1, Copyright ©2000-2013 by Rick Myers.
[3] P'ru•shim (Pharisees), sing. Parush—The P'rushim and Tz'dukim were the two main components of the religious establishment in Yeshua's time. The P'rushim focussed on the Torah and what it requires of ordinary people, rather than on the temple ritual. When the temple was destroyed in 70 c.e., the P'rushim were in a position to develop their tradition into the basis for Jewish life everywhere; this tradition is the core of the Talmud and of modern religious Judaism. Mat_3:7+.
[4] Ye•ru•sha•la• yim (Jerusalem)—capital of Eretz-Yisra'el since the days of King David. Psalm 48 calls it "the city of our God, . . . beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth." Mat_2:1+.
[5] tal•mid, fem. tal•mi•dah, pl. tal•mi•dim—disciple, student. The relationship between a talmid and his rabbi was very close: not only did the talmid learn facts, reasoning processes and how to perform religious practices from his rabbi, but he regarded him as an example to be imitated in conduct and character (see Mat_10:24-25; Luk_6:40; Joh_13:13-15; 1Co_11:1). The rabbi, in turn, was considered responsible for his talmidim (Mat_12:2; Luk_19:39; Joh_17:12). Mat_5:1+.
[6] n'ti•lat-ya•da•yim—ceremonial hand-washing prescribed by the Oral Torah to be done before meals and at other times in order to be ritually pure; it continues to be a norm in Orthodox Judaism. Mat_15:2+.
i Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
j Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9
[7] Ye•sha`•yah, -ya•hu (Isaiah, Esaias)—Tanakh prophet. Mat_3:3+.
k Isaiah 29:13
[8] Stern, D. H. (1998). Complete Jewish Bible: an English version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) (1st ed., Mt 15). Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications.
[9]  Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann, authors; Mark E. Biddle, translator, Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, vol. 2 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997), p. 523
[11] Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 320-343). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.
[12]  Jewish Publication Society. (1997, c1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures : A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
b-  Meaning of Heb. uncertain
-b  Meaning of Heb. uncertain
[13]  Jewish Publication Society. (1997, c1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures : A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
[14] Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 408-410). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.
[15] Jerome, Correspondence, ed. Isidorus Hilberg, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1996), 55:381–82 [Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 2204-2205). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.]
[16]See also Reuven Kimelman, “Birkat Ha-Minim and the Lack of Evidence for an Anti-Christian Jewish Prayer in Late Antiquity,” in Aspects of Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period, vol. 2, Jewish and Christian Self-Definition, ed. E.P. Sanders, A.I. Baumgarten, and Alan Mendelson (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981), 226–44, 391–403. [Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 2206-2208). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.]
[17] Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 416-462). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.
e  Meaning of Heb. uncertain
f-  Meaning of Heb. uncertain Arabic sha˓ara suggests the rendering “Whom your fathers did not know.”
-f  Meaning of Heb. uncertain Arabic sha˓ara suggests the rendering “Whom your fathers did not know.”
g  I.e., idols.
[18] Jewish Publication Society. (1997, c1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures : A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

[19] Israeli Authorized Version of the Holy Bible. electronic edition, e-Sword® version 10.2.1. Copyright ©2000-2013 by Rick Myers, n.d.

a  Rev 20:4
b  Mark 9:3
c  Rev 1:14
d  Ezek 1:13, 26
1  Lit flames of fire
e  Ezek 10:2, 6
a  Ps 18:8; 50:3; 97:3; Is 30:27, 33
b  Deut 33:2; 1 Kin 22:19; Rev 5:11
c  Ps 96:11–13; Dan 7:22, 26
d  Dan 12:1; Rev 20:11–15
1  Lit great
a  Rev 19:20; 20:10
2  Lit of the fire
a  Matt 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Luke 21:27; Rev 1:7, 13; 14:14
a  Dan 7:27; John 3:35; 1 Cor 15:27; Eph 1:20–22; Phil 2:9–11; Rev 1:6; 11:15
1  Or sovereignty
b  Dan 2:37
c  Ps 72:11; 102:22
2  Lit tongue
d  Mic 4:7; Luke 1:33
e  Heb 12:28
[20]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
f  7:15 Lit was distressed in the middle of its sheath
g  7:15 Dn 4:19; 7:1,28
h  7:16 Zch 1:9,19; Rv 5:5; 7:13–14
i  7:16 Dn 7:3
  The Hebrew word is Elyon; it is often used with other names of God, such as Hebrew El (God) or Yahweh (Lord); it is used to refer to God as the supreme being.
j  7:18 Ps 149:5–9; Is 60:12–14; Rv 2:26–27; 11:15; 22:5
k  7:19 Dn 7:7–8
l  7:20 Rv 12:3
m  7:20 Dn 7:8; 2Th 2:9–10
n  7:21 Rv 11:7; 13:7
o  7:22 Dn 7:10; 1Co 6:2–3
p  7:24 Dn 7:7; Rv 17:12
q  7:25 Dn 11:36; Rv 13:1–6
r  7:25 Lit wear out
s  7:25 Rv 13:7; 18:24
t  7:25 Lit change times
u  7:25 Dn 2:21
v  7:25 Or for three and a half years
w  7:25 Dn 12:7; Rv 11:2; 12:14
x  7:26 Dn 7:10
y  7:26 Rv 17:14; 19:20
z  7:27 Ps 145:13; Is 9:7; Lk 1:33; Rv 11:15; 22:5
a  7:28 Dn 4:19
b  7:28 Lit my brightness changed on me
c  7:28 Lk 2:19,51
[21]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2009. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[22] For a study of the ubiquity of this pattern, see Moshe Idel, Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism, Kogod Library of Judaic Studies (London: Continuum, 2007).
[23] Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 727-745). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.
[24] Boyarin notes: “…After the rabbis, I have found only Sigmund Olaf Plytt Mowinckel, He That Cometh: The Messiah Concept in the Old Testament and Later Judaism, trans. G.W. Anderson (Oxford: B. Blackwell, 1956), 352, emphasizing this point sufficiently, but, of course, since the literature is massive, I may (almost certainly have) missed others…” The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 2253-2255). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.
[25] Boyarin, Daniel (2012-03-20). The Jewish Gospels (Kindle Locations 766-779). New Press, The. Kindle Edition.
[26] Rodkinson, Michael L. NEW EDITION OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD Original Text Edited, Corrected, Formulated, and Translated into English. 10 vols. Electronic First Edition, e-Sword® v.10.2.1 by Rick Myers, ©2000-2013 n.d. Vol. 8, Sanhedrin 22, p 371. [see also BT, full edition,  Ḥagiga 14a below:]
“…One verse says: His raiment was as white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool;11 and [elsewhere] it is written: His locks are curled and black as a raven!12 — There is no contradiction: one verse13 [refers to God] in session,14 and the other in war.15 For a Master said: In session none is more fitting than an old man, and in war none is more fitting than a young man.  
 One passage says: His throne was fiery flames;16 and another Passage says: Till thrones were places, and One that was ancient of days did sit!17 — There is no contradiction: one [throne] for Him, and one for David; this is the view of R. Akiba. Said R. Jose the Galilean to him: Akiba, how long wilt thou treat the Divine Presence as profane!18 Rather, [it must mean], one for justice and one for grace.19 Did he accept [this explanation from him, or did he not accept it? — Come and hear: One for justice and one for grace; this is the view of R. Akiba. Said R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah to him: Akiba, what hast thou to do with Aggadah?20 Cease thy talk, and turn21 to [the laws concerning defilement through] leprosy-signs and tent-covering!22 Rather, [it must mean] one for a throne and one for a stool; the throne to sit upon, the stool for a footrest, for it is said: The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My foot-rest.23…” from
[27] Theophany: Theophany, from the Ancient Greek θεοφάνεια, refers to the appearance of a deity to a human or other being. This term has been used to refer to appearances of the gods in the ancient Greek and Near Eastern religions. While the Iliad is the earliest source for descriptions of theophanies in the Classical tradition, probably the earliest description of a theophany is in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The term theophany has acquired a specific usage for Christians and Jews with respect to the Bible: It refers to the manifestation of God to man; the sensible sign by which the presence of God is revealed. Only a small number of theophanies are found in the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament., STANDS4 LLC, 2013. "theophany." Accessed November 7, 2013.
[28] minim ("sectarians") according to some Jewish sources are those who recognize God but nonetheless deny Him. (Usually, but not always, used in reference to those who profess Yeshua as Messiah.)
[29] Institute for Scripture Research - ISR. The Scriptures 1998 Bible®. Electronic Edition, e-Sword v.10.2.1 by Rick Myers, ©2000-2013. Published by Institute for Scripture Research - ISR, 1998. [Emphasis and definitions mine]
[30] I have used this ending over and over in all that I write, but I have to give credit to the one who used it before me: Dr. J. Vernon McGee, God rest his soul. I’m sure he doesn’t mind…

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